Blind brain tumor survivor graduates from TSU law school

A man who was forced to put his education on hold after being diagnosed with a brain tumor graduated from law school in the top ten percent in his class at Texas Southern University on Friday.

HOUSTON - Law school is no easy task for anyone; but imagine getting through three grueling years without your eyesight?

That was the case for Daniel Vaughn who graduated from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University on Friday.

Vaughn even graduated in the top ten percent of his class. 

"Law school has changed me in the sense that I now have the tools to help others," Vaughn said, who lost his eyesight after his 23rd birthday. He's now 29. 

"The hardest part about going blind is that society tells you you are limited in what you can do," he said.

Vaughn developed a brain tumor back in 2010. He said the surgeries to remove it, combined with the tumor, caused him to lose his eyesight.

He pressed on though, enrolling at TSU.

Despite undergoing six surgeries, he walked across the stage only a year later than expected. His girlfriend Jenny, who helped him study, assisted him during the ceremony.

"Everyone that walks across that stage--nobody did it on their own. Nobody," Vaughn said.

His mother, Terry, was there the whole way as his driver and reader scribe.

"I'm the proudest mother in the world tonight," she said before the ceremony.

What makes the family even more remarkable is that Terry herself was battling ovarian cancer at the same time her son was on medical leave.

"It really does seem like it's been orchestrated from God. It really does." Terry said.

As for Daniel, after he passes the bar, he said he's interested in becoming a probate lawyer.

"I look at today as a stepping point," he said. "It's the first peak of many mountains I'm going to climb and I feel like today puts me on that equal playing field."

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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